Photos by Dick “Mez” Meseroll @mezapixels

“The Future is Local” was the motto for the Mid-Atlantic Board Riders Club’s first qualifying event. Swell was pumping through the veins of the Outer Banks sandbars and every surfer felt its presence.

Avon Pier from on high.

The ESA Easterns just finished and those who stayed to score, scored big. After months of preparation with clubs forming along the East Coast, the Mid Atlantic Board Riders put out the call for a Rumble in the Banks at an undisclosed area on Hatteras Island. Low Country SC Board Riders, led by Cam Richards; Outer Banks Board Riders, led by Morgan O’Connell; Virginia Board Riders, led by Brad Beach along with Jason Borte; and Wrightsville Board Riders, led by Ben Bourgeois, all answered the call on September 25 at Avon Pier.

Let’s hear it for the home team, the OBX Board Riders club, for taking out the inaugural Carolina Cup championships.

So what is a Board Riders Club? Just imagine that you are picking a fantasy surf team from your local community to compete against another town or state club. Strategies, competition theories and concepts came into play by the team captains. This is how it worked.

Wrightsville Jon Mincher snagged one of the waves of the event with this barrel that put him in the solid 8 + range before ….

… following it up with the turn of the event and made the no brainer double whammy call to tally one of the highest scores of the comp.

Each club held local qualifiers to pick a team of 28 surfers. Each team had four surfers in each division: U14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50 & Up, Open Women All Ages. Each division competes an hour with all of the clubs battling it out in the same heat tag-team style. Within that hour, each surfer’s goal was to catch their highest score on one wave within three waves maximum, then run in and tag their next teammate to go out and do the same. The last surfer in the water needs to be in their designated team area before the end of the heat or the team would be penalized.

Skater, singer, surfer, ripper Camden Hoover jamming on rail for team VB.

Scoring was based on accumulated points with only the highest scoring wave counting for each team member. In each division every club strategically chose one Whammy Surfer who had 10 seconds to claim his or her top scoring wave by putting both hands up in the air. That motion doubled the score of that wave so if the Whammy surfer scored a 6.0 on that wave the score would be doubled to a 12.0 on the team score line. The club with the most points at the end of the competition was the winner.

“Mmmm, yeah… I’ll claim that one for sure” say’s Wrightsville Club member Jon Mincher after scoring one of the raddest rides of the comp.

All four teams came out in full force. The entire Outer Banks Club was on a mission, and it showed. Call it hometown knowledge or not, but they were always in the right spot, with high averages their top scores pushed them into a lead that was insurmountable.

Quentin Turko on a mission for team Outer Banks.

The battle for second place came down to the last heat between Wrightsville and Virginia. Wrightsville took second with strong fluid surfing, laying out combinations, and major turns despite being short a of a full roster. Virginia had a team full of experienced veterans but shockingly things did not fully line up for them. Much respect to Low Country SC for showing up with a partial team. Do not count them out yet, because it will be game on once their club is solidified.

While the good vibes and regional respect was flowing all day, Team ‘Ville took second and looking here like they ain’t exactly happy about it as it sinks in. All these guys are the ultimate surfing warriors though and will no doubt be back with a vengeance in 2023. Clockwise from bottom right – Knox Harris, Nick Rupp, Dylan Kowalski, Sam Svenson, Ross Adams, Dylan Mc Namara, Bear Holtze, Ben Bourgeois, Jon Mincher, Owen Moss and Dan Pedroni.

This historic qualifying event on “The Road to Trestles” was sponsored by Fat Tire Beer from New Belgium Brewing, WRV – Wave Riding Vehicles, 17th Street Surf Shop, and A New Earth Project. At the end of the season one team will be crowned the Mid Atlantic Board Riders Champion and will head to Trestles for the US Board Riders Championship in May 2023.

Team Wrightsville’s Nick Rupp racking up some precious points with this tail slide snap.

A shout out to all the locals who came out in force to support this grassroots movement. Thanks to Roots & Leaves Food Truck for the vegan donuts and coffee and Nino’s Pizza for opening specifically to provide us all lunch!

MA Board Riders Co-Exec director Heidi Ziehm with Dane Jeffries and the always lovable, inimatable MC, Mr. Mike Beach.

Mid Atlantic Board Riders Co-Executive Directors David Portch and Heidi Ziehm are already working with the clubs on the next event. The Future is Local!

One of the Mid-Atlantic Board Riders great sponsors, WRV’s LG Shaw sends a special shout out to Fat Tire for providing the ice cold suds. In fact we all do- cheer’s Fat Tire!

For more information, to join a club, or even inquire about starting one, follow Mid Atlantic Board Riders on Facebook and Instagram.

The gang’s all here ! 2022 Board Riders Carolina Cup participants.

Open Women’s
1st – Outer Banks Board Riders 24.97
2nd – Virginia Board Riders 16.04
3rd – Wrightsville Board Riders 11.81

4th – Low Country Board Riders 0.0

Mc Cauly Hoover, Camden’s little sister, laying over big girl turns.

14 & Under
1st – Outer Banks Board Riders 30.23
2nd – Wrightsville Board Riders 26.43
3rd – Virginia Board Riders 10.87

4th – Low Country Board Riders 0.0

Stevie Owens, Team VB.

1st – Outer Banks Board Riders 31.01
2nd – Wrightsville Board Riders 27.87
3rd – Virginia Board Riders 27.57

4th – Low Country Board Riders 6.36

Team OBX’s Benny Crum.

Benny gets the royal treatment through the tunnel of stoke after a high scoring ride.

20 – 29
1st – Outer Banks Board Riders 25.13
2nd – Wrightsville Board Riders 24.53
3rd – Virginia Board Riders 13.70

4th – Low Country Board Riders 0.0

Team Wrightsville’s Knox Harris with a banger off the south side of Avon Pier.

30 – 39
1st – Virginia Board Riders 39.33
2nd – Wrightsville Board Riders 30.34
3rd – Outer Banks Board Riders 28.01

4th – Low Country Board Riders 4.06

The Pride Of Pungo, Team VB’s Lucas Rogers.

40 – 49
1st – Outer Banks Board Riders 32.71
2nd – Wrightsville Board Riders 30.90
3rd – Virginia Board Riders 20.67

4th – Low Country Board Riders 18.72

Proud MVP’s ( left to right ) team OBX’s Leanne Robinson, team VB’s TJ Bonanno and Wrightsville’s Jon Mincher.

50 & Up
1st – Virginia Board Riders 25.46
2nd – Wrightsville Board Riders 18.80
3rd – Outer Banks Board Riders 4.29

4th – Low Country Board Riders 4.20

Big Man, big bash, big score. Team OBX’s director Morgan O’connell kicks the ever lovin’ shiitake out of this one.

The iconic Avon fishing pier – well weathered, bowed and bent but definitely not broken. A wonderful place to hold a contest or a fishing pole or, in some competitors case , both.

Team VB’s Phil Gould as smooth, powerful and styled out as always.

The man responsible for introducing the Board Riders Club to the Right Coast, which is officially en fuego up and down the eastern seaboard btw, Senior Dane Jeffries.

If you’re going to hold a championship surf contest this is what you like to see in the way of waves.

Hey, don’t forget these guys! Event judges ( left to right ) Cris Burdette, Dave Portch ( who also doubles as the MA Board Riders Co-Executive Director ) and Quentin Turko.

Lucas Jolly, team OBX.

Team VB’s coach Jason Borte.

North side Avon Pier warm-up zone in Kinnakeet, NC delivering.

The scene.

Speaking of warming up, team VB’s Blayr Barton put on his own personal airshow on the Northside for all to see through the pilings featuring double whammy moves like this that, unfortunately, did not count for his crews final score.

Vah Beacher’s Brad Beach ( middle ) and Todd Pace keeping tabs on their squad.

See ya’ next year y’all !